Here’s the next instalment of Checkout Chick. It can be read from the beginning by clicking on the Checkout Chick link in the menu.
Colloquial term. Ten minute break. ‘Smoko’ as most people used time for cigarette break. Still a lot of smokers working in supermarkets. Really, wouldn’t you?
Two designated smoko areas. Outside of deli next door usually where lunch smoko taken. Day workers from supermarket take over two tables and are as rowdy as a bunch of drunken buffoons. Leave area littered with cigarette butts. Deli owners hate us.
Other area is outside back door of store. Old milk crates used as tables and chairs. Means you end up being on first name basis with delivery drivers. Jovial. Bordering on friendship. Some delivery drivers even invited to Christmas do.
Smoko’s often spent complaining about customers. Venting session. Some organisations have in-horse councilors. We have smokos.
Darling brother Paddy. He likes having me around because it means he gets to eat things other than fish and chips and microwave meals. Five years ago we made the decision to move in together. I rent out my unit and pay Paddy board. Share groceries and such like. Means we’re both in better financial position.
I like having Paddy around because means I have someone to fill up car, check tires and all those things that I can’t be arsed thinking about. We work well together, me and Paddy. Argue like crazy, yes. Annoy the fuck out of one another, yes. Laugh a lot, yes, yes. Everyone says we look alike. Both short, brown haired, brown eyed. Two youngest in a very large Irish family so found it necessary to bond at young age. Thank goodness, really.
Convinced Paddy to take my car today. Gave him money for petrol. Came in to Supermarket looking absolutely thunderous. Didn’t matter to him that had customer. Customer didn’t mind, either. Female customer. Females like Paddy.
‘Tires are supposed to have air in them.’
‘Yes, yes.’ Same lecture. Always.
‘Engine supposed to have oil in it.’
Yes, yes. ‘Is what have you for.’
‘Window washers need water in them.’
‘Yes, yes, is what have you for.’
Paddy likes to complain about my lack of self-sufficiency. Makes him feel he has a purpose.
Customer quite interested in my conversation with Paddy. While she giving me money she turns to Paddy and makes comment of how she wished she had someone like him to check her tires. Paddy all, I’ll check your tires. Her eyes shining. ‘You’ll check my tires?’ Metaphors galore. Do not want to think what they really went off to do.
Think that Paddy got the last of the charisma left in our mother’s womb. Have tried to flirt, have tried to be charismatic, but it never happens. Is so typical, though. My work, mine. Yet Paddy strolls in and get’s a date. Is unbelievable. And completely unfair.
Bright Eyes came in. Again much interest. Again paid in cash. Again came through my checkout. Mel has decided he is no longer good looking as was wearing grey cardigan which is apparently just not acceptable on any man. I didn’t mind, though. Firstly, he smiled at me when I gave him his change. Secondly, it seems to be some kind of uniform, his clothes. Last time he came in he was wearing white shirt and black pants. Same today but with added cardigan. As have no fashion sense myself cannot begrudge others for same infliction.
Our store manager, Bill, is on annual leave for two weeks. He’s gone to Thailand. The general consensus is that he’s taken his mother with him. he’s that kind of bloke, you know?
Replacement is a man called Tony from the city. City slicker, though imagine him strolling into store with legs wide apart, wearing cowboy boots and toting a pistol. Seems like that kind of bloke. Keen to be everyone’s friend. Immediately got everyone onside with his charisma. But then, isn’t that what Hitler did? Will watch out for discrimination against Jews. Hang on, there are no Jews. Hang on, have not actually ever met a Jew. Do Jews exist? Apparently not in South Australia.
Tearoom suddenly awash with various items we could only ever dream about. Nestcafe instead of International Roast. Tim Tams and Mint Slices instead of Arrowroot Biscuits. Bill would never let us write off any such items for staff use. More often than not have to beg even for carton of milk.
One person that doesn’t like him is Boozer. Boozer works night fill but oddly is around quite a lot during the day. Has been here as long as me. Boozer’s the one we always ask when we need a price check because he won’t ignore you like the other lads. Probably because he fears each and every one of us that works checkout. Do not know Boozer’s real name. Am pretty sure no one does, bar Rosemary who does the pays. Would be funny, though, if ‘Boozer’ is written on the top of his pay slip. Must ask him one day if can take a look. Boozer on an official document. How Australian.
Boozer called Tony ‘Fucking wanker.’ Yet he tends to use this description about most people. Am assuming that Tony, who has no knowledge of how things run down here, doesn’t know that Boozer cannot be rushed, at anything, and that all of us have given up trying. Could very well be, though, that Tony told Boozer that showing a good inch of arse crack was inappropriate for a supermarket environment. We’ve given up trying with that, too.